7-month-old rescued elephant calf finds a mother in Champakali

Darjeeling: Champakali has happily taken up the task of mothering the 7-month-old orphan elephant calf rescued from the Raidak river. The calf was rescued on Tuesday and brought to the Jaldapara National Park by foresters of North Raidak Range of the Buxa Tiger Reserve in the Alipurduar district. P Harish, Deputy Field Director of the East Division of the Buxa Tiger Reserve stated "On Tuesday morning we rescued the calf from the Raidak river. It was nearly washed away. The elephant herd had abandoned it. We tried throughout the day but the held was unwilling to take it back. Taking no further risk we transported the calf to Jaldapara." Foresters were worried about the future of the rescued calf. In many cases elephants do not allow unknown calves to come near them and in some cases turn aggressive. The calf had to be housed with other elephants at Jaldapara. To their relief Champakali, a Kunki (trained elephant) readily mothered the calf. As soon as the 7-month-old orphan calf met Champakali at the Holong Philkhana (elephant shed,) the Kunki pulled the calf close to her and even nursed her, as if her own.

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